No need for legal action vs COA to compel PRC audit – Guevarra

Published September 13, 2021, 2:02 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra

No legal action is needed to compel the Commission on Audit (COA) to audit the funds received by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) from government entities, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said on Monday, Sept. 13.

This was pointed out by Guevarra despite President Duterte’s statement that legal action should be taken for the continued refusal of COA Chairman Michael Aguinaldo to audit the PRC.

Guevarra said:

“I do not expect that these issues will necessitate any legal action.

“The Constitution is clear on the scope of the mandate of the COA. This mandate includes the audit of accounts pertaining to the use of funds received as subsidy or equity, directly or indirectly, by non-governmental entities from the government.

“The COA is an independent constitutional commission that is expected to perform its mandate objectively and impartially.

“The PRC is a highly reputable organization that is expected to manage its funds, whether private or public, in accordance with standard accounting methods and in pursuit solely of its statutory objectives.

“It is also duty-bound to submit an annual report of its activities and financial condition to the President of the Philippines as its honorary President.”

Duterte has been involved in a verbal tussle with Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the PRC.

Gordon, who heads the Senate blue ribbon committee, is currently investigating the government’s alleged anomalous spending in the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response.

Duterte has repeatedly defended the government’s spending and has assured that there have been no anomalies.